What many may not realize is the strong crop of both USHL players and Americans who will be selected in the draft’s seven rounds.
Sure, we aren’t going to see 10 Americans selected in the first round like we saw at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (Americans will be lucky if there is half of that number Friday), but the overall depth may find this draft noteworthy for American hockey followers.
Last year saw 60 Americans go in the draft’s seven rounds—two short of the record set in 2007. Could this year rival last year’s mark of 60? Definitely. Could this year’s crop top 2007? Possibly.
Top to bottom, Americans will hear their name called with players like Alex Galchenyuk and Jacob Trouba on Friday night to lesser knows like Matt Lane and MacKenzie MacEachern who I believe will go in later rounds on Saturday.
I have pieced together (see below), the Americans I believe will be selected over the next two days. The number of USA players will fall one short of the 2007 class—fairly impressive considering no one is talking about this strong American crop.
The success of this group can largely be attributed to the strong development of the USHL. Last year saw a USHL record of 28 players who played in the league during the 2010-11 season hear their name called in Minnesota. This year’s crop is deep enough to break the record for the second straight year. I see 32 players, representing 10 different USHL franchises, called to the draft floor after all 211 picks have been announced.
Could this just be the bias of having seen American and USHL players more than CHL and Europeans this year? Definitely. Could I look bad with my predictions? It is certainly possible.
One thing is for certain, with the number of negatives being attributed with this year’s draft crop, the strength in numbers amongst American and USHL selections can only be considered a positive.
1st Round: Jacob Trouba (NTDP), Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque), Stefan Matteau (NTDP), Nicolas Kerdiles (NTDP)
2nd Round: Brady Skjei (NTDP), Pat Sieloff (NTDP), Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay), Michael Matheson (Dubuque), Boo Nieves (Indiana)
3rd Round: Jon Gillies (Indiana), Robbie Baillargeon (Indiana), Matt DeBlouw (Muskegon)
4th Round: Collin Olson (NTDP), Frankie Vatrano (NTDP), Dakota Mermis (Green Bay), Brian Cooper (Fargo), Kevin Roy (Lincoln)
5th Round: Riley Barber (NTDP), Daniel O’Regan (NTDP), Thomas Di Pauli (NTDP), A.J. Michaelson (Waterloo)
6th Round: Connor Carrick (NTDP), Cameron Darcy (NTDP), Matt Lane (NTDP), Jake Bischoff (Omaha), Jaccob Slavin (Chicago)
7th Round: Alex Kile (Green Bay), Quentin Shore (NTDP), Austin Farley (Fargo), Vince Hinostroza (Waterloo), Miles Koules (NTDP), Justin Wade (Fargo)
Non-USHL American Predictions
1st Round: Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia)
2nd Round: Henrik Samuelsson (Edmonton), Jake McCabe (Wisconsin), Brian Hart (Exeter Academy), Brady Vail (Windsor)
3rd Round: Sam Kurker (St. John’s Prep), Zach Stepan (Shattuck St. Mary’s), Dylan Blujus (Brampton)
4th Round: Nick Ebert (Windsor), Jimmy Vesey (South Shore), Chris Calnan (Nobles & Greenough), Hunter Fejes (Shattuck St. Mary’s), Jake Montgomery (Shattuck St. Mary’s), Ben Johnson (Windsor), Cody Corbett (Edmonton)
5th Round: Logan Nelson (Victoria), Adam Gilmour (Nobles & Greenough), Devin Tringale (Lawrence Academy), Alex Gonye (Deerfield), John Draeger (Shattuck St. Mary’s), Adam Johnson (Windsor), Matt Beattie (Exeter Academy), Max Iafrate (Kitchener), Anthony Stolarz (Corpus Christi)
6th Round: Austin Wuthrich (Notre Dame), MacKenzie MacEachern (Brother Rice), Will Merchant (Eagan), Cody Payne (Plymouth), Doyle Somerby (Kimball Academy)
7th Round: Grant Besse (Benilde St. Margaret’s), Shane Gostisbehere (Union College)